The bare essentials
Planning a chillax beach day? At a minimum, DeBell says, pack these must-haves.
DeBell’s first essential is, no surprise here, sunscreen. Look for one that contains zinc, she says, and reapply if you’re going to be out in the sun for longer than two hours. Just be sure to avoid sunscreen sprays as they don’t apply evenly and are bad for the environment.
And if you’re thinking of skipping sunscreen altogether, the stats say that’s a big summer don’t. Washington has one of the higher rates of skin cancer in the country, beating out perennially sunny states like California, Florida, Hawaii and Texas. That is not a contest we want to win, y’all.
Consider these babies — pun intended — multitasking magic for any survival kit. Use them to clean a variety of things, from picnic tables and public toilet seats to dirty hands and, well, baby bottoms. DeBell says they also work great for erasing stains from clothing, minus the harsh chemicals that some stain-removing pens and wipes can contain.
When you’re hungry, your mood can tip over into hangry real quick. Same goes for kiddos when they’re running on empty straight into meltdown mode. That’s why DeBell suggests stocking your kit with a nutritious, portable snack that doesn’t require refrigeration, especially if you’re out and about all day. Some of her favorites include fruits and veggies with a peel or outer layer — think an orange, banana or handful of snap peas — but you can also opt for snack bars, crackers or nuts.
Aluminum or glass water bottle
Staying hydrated is important year-round, but especially in summer when heat stroke is most definitely a thing. DeBell prefers reusable aluminum or glass water bottles because you can refill them as you need, and they don’t off-gas, or release harmful chemicals, like plastic water bottles do.